Friday, March 23, 2012

World Day of Prayer for Women's Ordination on March 25th

World Day of Prayer for Women's Ordination 
is a concerted global action held
annually on March 25th, the feast of the Annunciation, to draw attention to calls of women as priests, deacons, and bishops into an inclusive and accountable Catholic ChurchIn solidarity with women's ordination advocates around the world, WOC members host prayer services and vigils to honor this special day. 

Celebrate Women of Courage and Vision!
  • Plan a vigil for March 25th or check the WOC Calendar for events already happening in your local area this weekend and next! 
  • Host a Pink Smoke Over the Vatican screening! Buy the film for friends, clergy, or a young Catholic in your life.
  • Download the Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision liturgy to use throughout the year.   
  • Blog for WOC! Write for WOC's blog, The Table, on issues of gender and Church justice. Submit your entry
  • Join/Renew. WOC depends 100% on membership donations. Help us make the 18th World Day of Prayer the most successful yet!    
  • Thank you for your ongoing support!  For more information and resources on planning your World Day of Prayer Event email our Membership Coordinator, Kate Conmy at

Suzanne Dunn: A Roman Catholic Womanpriest Celebrates Mass in Santa Barbara, California

"With her welcoming smile and no-nonsense short gray hairdo, the Rev. Suzanne Dunn doesn’t exactly fit the profile of a radical rabble-rouser. But this Carpinteria resident is one about 125 ordained Roman Catholic Womenpriests worldwide who are working to bring about a more inclusive version of the Catholic Church.
As leader of the Catholic Church of the Beatitudes Santa Barbara, Dunn and her congregation celebrate weekly Mass at 5:30 p.m. Saturdays at First Congregational Church of Santa Barbara, 2101 State St. They honor the history and sacramental tradition of the Catholic Church while opening up the communion table to all seekers of faith, including gays and divorced people who are not allowed to partake in traditional Catholic communion.
“All are welcome at the table — divorced, gay, everyone,” Dunn said. “We do not keep out anyone.
“It’s such a relief to people to not be judged and not be told that somebody’s going to make the decision for them. We truly believe that anybody who comes to church is an adult and can make their own adult decisions.”

— Noozhawk contributing writer Leslie Dinaberg can be reached Follow her on Twitter: @LeslieDinaberg.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Time for the Truth about Catholic Sex Abuse in the Netherlands""The revelation that a number of minors who were abused in Dutch Roman Catholic institutions were also forcibly castrated has shocked the Netherlands. It casts grave doubt upon the recent findings of a commission set up to look into abuse in the church. RNW's Robert Chesal, who first brought the sex abuse scandal to light, argues that only parliament can be trusted to investigate further..."

Vatican Reports on Irish Child Abuse Scandals/BBC NEWS Northern Ireland
The Vatican
The report was published by the Vatican on Tuesday

Related Stories

The Vatican has expressed its "dismay and betrayal" at the "sinful and criminal acts" by Catholic clergy guilty of child abuse across Ireland.
In a report published on Tuesday, it called for a "new focus on the laity" within the Irish Catholic Church.
The scandals had "opened many wounds", it said, and lay people had "lost trust in their pastors".
The report acknowledged "innocent young people" were abused by clerics to whose care they had been entrusted.
It said that "those who should have exercised vigilance often failed to do so effectively".
The report also said that good priests felt "unjustly tainted" and not defended by superiors.
"Bishops and superiors have often felt isolated as they sought to confront the wave of indignation and, at times, they have found it difficult to agree on a common line of action," the report said.
It recommended continued support for the victims and survivors of Catholic clerical abuse in Ireland.
The report also sought to bring the Irish Church back into line with the teachings of Rome.
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
The Vatican does not "get it" as far as the reform of the institutional church goes. In the end, the global sexual abuse scandal is about the abuse of power by priests and bishops in the Catholic Church.  Until the Vatican reforms the clerical culture with a renewed priestly ministry which includes women priests and married priests as well as celibate priests in a transparent and accountable community of faith, nothing will change. 
Bridget Mary Meehan

Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP- Panel Discussion at Bellarimine University in Kentucky

left to right: Rev. Angela Price,  Dr. Janice Sevre-Dusynska, Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty

A panel discussion was held at Bellarmine University in  Louisville, Kentucky on March 15,  2012. The discussion focused on "The Changing roles of women in religious institutions." The panelists were Dr. Janice Sevre-Duszynska, priest with The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Rev. Angela Price of St. Stephen's Church and Jesus Saves Ministry, and Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, Associate Professor in Theology at Bellarmine University. The discussion was well attended and several students had questions for the panelist in between the questions that the moderator asked. Even though these women are connected to three different denominations they each talked about the resistance and obstacles they have encountered in trying to follow their call to ministry within their own churches.The panelists encouraged women who are interested in ministry to look toward the power within themselves and forge ahead. They  suggested books to read about women's issues in the theological world, like She Who Is by Elizabeth Johnson. The panel of women presented relevant information and personal stories about their experience as leaders in their churches and left the audience with words of inspiration for future female leaders.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Gift of True Communion at My Mother’s Catholic Funeral

When my Roman Catholic mother died, I had a very different experience at her funeral than did Barbara Johnson,  the gay woman, recently denied Communion during the service for her mother at St. John Neumann Church in Gaithersburg.
Until my mid-20s, I was, as a friend commented, “a little more Roman Catholic than the Pope.” But after starting a news reporting career, marrying a good Irish Catholic in my family’s parish church and giving birth to three daughters in three years, I had many questions for the church. Soon I found that the church did not welcome questions and had unsatisfactory, rigid answers to many of them. In 1966 I voted with my feet and left for the Episcopal Church, where a priest told me, “We may not have answers but we’ll walk with you on the search for answers.”
My journey led to ordination as a priest and a 30-year ministry. Once the culture shock wore off, my parents proudly told the world, including their pastor and his assistant, “Our daughter is a priest.”
As my mother’s congestive heart failure approached its end stage, she and Dad informed their pastor that they wanted me to participate “up front” at her funeral. When she told me that the priest had agreed, I cynically thought, “The Second Coming will arrive first.” But I said I would ask about funeral participation when the time came.
Mom died in the early morning hours of a beautiful autumn day, and in the afternoon I called her priest to inquire about funeral planning. Prepared to be put in my place as an apostate, I gingerly approached the subject of participation, asking if I might read a lesson or lead the psalm.
“Oh, more than that. You can do anything you want,” Father responded.
“Anything,” he repeated...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bishop Urges Change in Church Teaching Concerning All Sexual Relationships by Jerry Filteau/ NCR

..."In his talk later that afternoon -- available along with other writings on his website -- Robinson did not address the growing U.S. question of whether faithful same-sex unions should be blessed with the title and all legal rights of "marriage." But he argued that the church's moral appraisal of such unions would change dramatically if it were to reevaluate its traditional approach to all human sexual activity.He said while the church's emphasis on the profound significance of sex is correct, its natural law approach to sexual morality and its interpretation of ancient scriptural passages on homosexual and other sexual activity are in need of correction..."

His full text at the New Ways Ministry symposium, as well as other writings and references to controversies Robinson has engaged in in his efforts to change the way the church's approach to issues of sexual morality -- far too detailed to be covered in a single news article -- can be found on his website.
[Jerry Filteau is NCR Washington correspondent.]